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October News 2010

VLDP Newsletter

October - 2010

Monthly Highlights

Latest leadership blog - A great boss is confident, but not really sure

The balancing act between confidence and doubt is a hallmark of great bosses says Bob Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Their confidence inspires people to follow and believe in them, but the doubt ensures they get things right.

The VPS Leadership framework , designed by the Board of the VLDP to define effective leadership across the VPS, describes this as a "balance between self confidence and humility". In his blog "12 Things Good Bosses Believe" Bob Sutton gives us the leadership mantra "I strive to be confident enough to convince people that I am in charge, but humble enough to realise that I am often going to be wrong". Click here to evaluate yourself against Sutton's list from his book "Good boss, bad boss".

Click here to read more about iterative prototyping, irregular operations and other techniques to be help you be an effective leader who strikes a healthy balance between knowing and doubting… And win a copy of Bob Sutton's latest book "Good boss, bad boss" by sharing your thoughts in the blog comment box.

Key events

October has been a busy month with 2009 ELP participants gearing up to facilitate the inaugural VLDP conference 'Leading the way', a number of workshops, leadership conversations and secretary roundtables.

Working with ministers - Steve Bracks, Jeff Kennett, and Penny Armytage

Described by one participant as "an extraordinary opportunity to hear from the two former premiers and Penny Armytage" this session explored the importance of understanding the Government's agenda, the importance of providing "full advice" which is timely and accurate, and the roles of Departmental staff, Ministers and Ministerial Advisors.

Forty SELP and ELP participants were asked to estimate their increase in understanding of the expectations of Ministers following the session from 0 – 40%, with participants reporting an average 35 % improvement in their understanding.

This workshop was the first in a series of three "Working with Minister" events. Early next year ELP participants will attend a roundtable discussion with Yehudi Blacher, Secretary of DPCD, and Howard Ronaldson, Secretary of DIIRD discussing the challenges and opportunities of multi-minister portfolios, followed by a workshop with former Ministerial Advisor and DIIRD ELP participant, Xavier Csar, on tips and techniques for working with Ministerial Advisors.

Leadership conversation - Peter Allen - Caretaker conventions

Led by the Public Standards Commissioner and ANZSOG Deputy Dean Peter Allen, this Leadership conversation explored caretaker conventions through a number of real life "what if" scenarios. The session provided participants with a deeper understanding of the caretaker period, and its implications for their work and the work of their department. The session was well received with many participants enjoying hearing Peter's experience and case studies.

Consulting tools workshop

Following on from the video conference with Director Generals and Deputy Director Generals in the Scottish Civil Service (downloadable for ELP participants here), this workshop was part two of the 'Action learning' project with a focus on reform of the VPS.

Next month participants will apply these skills in a "Think Tank" session, exploring their ideas for reform. See the forthcoming ELP events in the next section of this newsletter.

VPS Leadership

VLDP EO conference - 'Leading the way'

Monday 15 November, 9:00am-5:00pm

Registrations for the VLDP's inaugural EO conference "Leadership in the VPS" are pouring in and 2009 ELP participants have been preparing for their facilitation roles.

Participants, who have been nominated by their Secretaries, will have the opportunity to hear from real life case studies, observe a live panel discussion with George Negus and the Secretaries, and network with colleagues from across the VPS.

Click here for further program details and the program brochure.

Senior Executive Leadership Program

Secretary Roundtable – Penny Armytage – The role of government intervention in driving societal behaviour

Friday 12 November, 12:00-2:00pm

Department of Justice Secretary Penny Armytage will be discussing the role of regulation in driving societal outcomes versus individual rights with SELP participants.

Secretary Roundtable - Peter Dawkins - Influencing policy and implementing nationally led initiatives

Friday 26 November, 12:00-2:00pm

Peter Dawkins, Secretary of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, will share his thoughts and insights into influencing national policy and delivering effectively on national policy at a State level.

Executive Leadership Program

Program Evaluation

We are currently completing the end point for the first cohort of ELP participants. More than 75% of participants have successfully achieved all of their development goals, with participants citing coaching, the support of their Secretary and peer learning sessions as key contributors to their success. Participants have shared many examples of:

  • The power and benefits of the cross VPS networks they have built through the program
  • The need to make time for development and the importance of stepping back and reflecting on leadership
  • How they will maintain their post program learning and see their development as an ongoing work in progress
  • How they have cascaded some of the ELP tools and approaches to develop the capability of their teams

The program evaluation will go to the next Board meeting in November, so look out for further updates in next month's newsletter.

Leadership conversation - Jitinder Kohli - Budget freezes as a catalyst for cultural change

9 November, 12:00-2:00pm

Jitinder Kohli is a former Director-General of the British Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and now works as a Senior Fellow for the Center for American Progress, a US organisation that focuses on government efficiency, regulatory reform, and economic issues.

This leadership conversation will be based on a paper he prepared following Barack Obama's decision to freeze discretionary budgets within the federal government for three years in October 2011. Click here to read Jitinder Kohli's paper "Can freezing budgets catalyze cultural change?".

Think tank - Reform of the VPS

Thursday 11 November, 2:00-6:00pm

Answering the question "the VPS would be more efficient if..." ELP participants will work collaboratively in a half day 'think tank' to apply the skills covered in the October Consulting Skills workshop. Participants will explore their hypotheses and present their ideas for reform to SC&MC members at the end of the workshop.

Leadership conversation - Robin Ryde - Leadership may cause harmful side effects

Thursday 18 November, 12:00-2:00pm

If leadership were a medicine what advice and potential side effects would you include in the warning leaflet? Robin Ryde, former UK Civil Service CEO, will lead this lively leadership conversation "Leadership may cause harmful side effects".

In his latest book, Custom Built Leadership, Robin states "My position on leadership is absolutely clear. It is an enormously difficult job that carries more complexities, personal demands, expectations and costs than most people imagine as they furiously attempt to climb up the slippery pole to the top. We all know what the benefits are, but the costs are less visible to us and provide some critical context to the challenges we face and the questions we must ask of ourselves". Join Robin to hear more about the often unintended side effects of leadership!

Peer learning session - Leading large projects/capital development

Thursday 25 November, 12:00-2:30pm

This peer learning session will be informative, practical and example session covering:

  • Raising a capital project
  • Navigate the ERC processes
  • The role of the Gateway Supervisory Committee
  • Project management disciplines as they relate to large capital projects and programs
  • Potential risks

Online peer learning session - Influencing without authority

Tuesday 30 November, 4:00-5:00pm

Neil Twist, DOJ and Liz Irwin, Executive Coach, will be facilitating the very first online peer learning session - 'Influencing without authority'.

The session will be hosted on the VLDP's website and includes video footage, live online chat and voice technologies.

Online peer learning - watch this space

The innovation continues with an initiative to have future sessions available on iPhones and Blackberry handsets - watch this space!

VLDP Board

VLDP Board

17 November, 2:00-4:00pm

The next VLDP Board meeting will consider the program evaluation for the first cohort of ELP participants.

For more VLDP news please visit www.vldp.vic.gov.au

You can also access previous eNewsletter articles via the eNewsletter Archive at www.vldp.vic.gov.au - Our Resources, Latest News.

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